Walking down the Croisette around 9PM Wednesday night, it was apparent it was going to be another busy night. The stroll revealed party preparation for Vevo, The Times of India, Y&R, AOL, Massive Music, Microsoft and several more.
We made it to the Microsoft party and Massive Music. we had every intention of making it to Vevo but, truth be told, the Massive party was so great, we couldn't leave. The music, the people, the location. All contributed to us staying until it was over at 2:30AM.
We had the pleasure of finally meeting Bud Theisen from Straightforward Films whom we've known for years but have never actually met.
We also met the two Erikas. Erika Sheldon from Hello! and the hilarious and infectiously witty Erika Bokamper from In House. So much fun!
Check out all the images from the night. Scroll down to the bottom of the flickr album for the latest images.
OK, we're heading into the home stretch here at Cannes. The short list for Film Lions has been released. Some of the of the work on the list includes: Droga5's work for Kraft's party, BBDO New York's work for several Snickers ads including Focus Group (love that one!), Grey New York's work for Febreeze, Wieden + Kennedy's work for Old Spice's Flex, Boat, Punch and Zoom, JWT New York's work for Huggies' Soire, BBDO New York's work on Gillette Shark, Wieden + Kennedy's Born of Fire for Chrysler, Crispin Porter + Bogusky's Really for Microsoft, Mullen's Application and Lift Things Up for Planet Fitness, Venebles Bell & Partners The Chase for Intel and many more. All told, American agencies are listed 108 times.
It's hard to describe the state of you in Cannes by the middle of the week. By Wednesday night, it's likely you haven't slept in four days. The drinking starts around noon, and you're constantly being blindsided by huge vacuums of people who want to chat about their creative ideas, which seesaw between brilliant and horrific, depending on what fluid you just swallowed.
One guy spent a night regaling Ask Wappling and me about his "sublime" comic strip idea, in which men and women have short, terse exchanges -- sort of like XKCD but stupid. (Man: "Hi!" Woman: "I shaved my legs for this?") The men are always smiling penises, and the women are squiggles in the shape of their pubic hair. Squiggles can vary by size and type.
Be careful when you've been chosen for a creative revelation like this. The less convinced you look, the more insistent the person gets about his genius.
But the trauma I felt, watching those banal prattling penises and vaginas appear in front of me, is only a distant memory. It was Monday around 5 AM.
As you may (or may not) know. we're working with Yahoo! to produce Yahoo! Scene, a site dedicated to the coverage of Cannes (and other conference and festivals. As part pf this coverage, we have lot and lot and lots...and did we say lots? of video. So here a link list to all the videos we've done so far. And, yes, Barbara Lippert is in Cannes and doing her daily video for Yahoo
We had a treat on Tuesday night. Fast Company's Le Rooftop party played host to a short evening panel featuring American Express, Arcade Fire and Terry Gilliam, best known for his Monty Python work (and maybe also for Lost in La Mancha, because that was bloody magnificent).
Gilliam didn't speak much, but when he did it was with a kind but long-suffering smile -- the sort you give when you're tired of a topic but understand others' persistent curiosity. Of the things he said that one can easily scale from advertising to life, he half-jokingly observed that "transparency is a word used to cover the truth in most instances."
With regard to his own industry, he said animated features are important political vehicles. (In case you wondered, this year he quite liked Rango.)
"Wall-E was probably the most politically important film that we had all year. And that's how sad the world has become!" he quipped.
And he finally answered that age-old question: why coconuts for horses?
"We didn't have the budget," Gilliam said frankly. "Things usually do come down to money in the end."
Yesterday afternoon at the Lions, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt sat with VP-Google Creative Lab Andy Berndt to discuss innovation, imagination and the internet.
Schmidt kicked off the discussion by pointing out the internet is a special kind of business because it is highly Moore's Law-driven: "If you take a country that's got 40% internet penetration, and you see it in the next five years, broadband penetration will be up to 80%." Your business just doubled and you didn't have to do anything -- this doesn't happen in any other industry.
The idea that your business can be expanded as a function of users broadening your market, as opposed to you taking steps to expand in the traditional sense, is something we are still grappling with.
"The implications for this consumer-driven phenomena are not well-understood," Schmidt said, pointing out that the Middle East's current ongoing social media-driven struggles for democracy are a good example of the unexpected fruit such phenomena yields. This is just the beginning of users' muscle-flexing.
When I sat down to listen to MRM Worldwide's session entitled Five Technologies That Will Transform Marketing Creativity, I expected to hear just that. Instead, all I got was an endless litany of the same old marketing blather concerning how everything is changing, how agencies and marketers need to break down the walls and blow up the silos to adjust to those changes and pointless platitudes pathway we all have to take to get there.
Will.i.am rambled on semi-coherently about how he'd rather be using his phone during the session instead of a microphone because the microphone is old and doesn't let him do all the things his phone allows him to do. Driving that point home, he said, "Why are we still rockin' it like it's 1999?"
Valid point but if I wanted to watch five people on stage madly manipulating their phones instead of focusing on the task at hand, all I'd need to do is look at the people sitting next to me madly tweeting instead of actually paying attention to what was being said on stage.